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Electric Powder Measure - thoughs

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Unread 03-16-2011, 11:19 AM
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Re: Electric Powder Measure - thoughs

"I would hardly call an electronic powder dispenser a gimmick.... BTW, do you consider a calculator a gimmick? A couple of sharp pencils and an eraser works too!"

Well, I do call them gadgets and so they are; certainly no asset for small quanities of ammo but I also qualified my "foolish" comment with "IMHO". And a lot of other highly experienced and skilled reloaders agree with me. But understand that I was addressing the OP's request for our thoughts. The way it works is, I give my thought, you give yours. I had no intent to insult your sensitivitives so there's no need for you to be personally snarky about our differences. IMHO of course, but Your Mileage May Vary. ??

Some would say a Ford F-350 4x4 Diesel truck is "better" than a Ford Ranger truck and that would be 'correct'... unless the Ranger is a better choice for the individual's real needs and for most of us, it really is. Over buying for our needs is not wise, perhaps especially so when the much higher priced item is absolutely certain to deliver a shorter life span. Fact is, I can easily use either a calculator or pencil, each serves different needs better than the other. I have the ability to use both and I'm wise enough to know when to use either, but that's another decision each of us has to make according to our own needs and math skills.

On digital dumpsters, my personal opinion is that if any reloader feels he needs help from an electronic gadget to get his charges weighed correctly, or fast enough (at least so long as it lasts), I certainly won't try to convience him otherwise. But I don't need one, I know it, and I sure won't pay for a new/modern/wonderful/etc, trinket. I give my opinon and actually gave him some criteria to base his own choice on, without suggesting he should automatically see things my way simply because it's my way.

Please understand I didn't post my opinion for you and you are free to ignore me as often as you wish.

I hope you have a very nice day!

Last edited by boomtube; 03-16-2011 at 01:17 PM.
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Unread 03-16-2011, 12:59 PM
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Re: Electric Powder Measure - thoughs

There's a good article on this at accurateshooter.com from a top tactical shooter and aeronatical engineer named froggy. Just search for froggy reloading and its a good article. He puts an intelligent article forward, so instead of one liners of I like or don't like maybe a little statistics will help your decision. He also talks about "lean manufacturing" and I believe this is where the electonic scales have an edge. Check it out.
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Unread 03-16-2011, 03:32 PM
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Re: Electric Powder Measure - thoughs

To the original poster: here is the article. Choose what you like and enjoy. I am sorry I did not buy one sooner. I enjoy reloading so much more since buying one.

Electronic Dispensers and Efficient Reloading

by Froggy
Our resident “Tactical Triggerman”, Froggy, did the shop and field testing for all three units. In “real life” Froggy works as a production manager in the aerospace industry, supervising the fabrication of high-tech electronic components. He knows a few things about efficient production processes. After conducting the test, he ventured some opinions, both about the equipment, and how they can serve to reduce loading time. Here’s his report:
“To sum this all up I have to say, based on my data, the RCBS is King. The RCBS for me wins hands down over the competition in speed, features and user friendliness. You can see by the data the RCBS dispenses powder almost twice as fast as the Lyman and PACT. That’s signficant–more so than you may think as I explain below. Speed is the primary reason to purchase one of these machines. I want to spend less time reloading and more time shooting.
In comparing the three machines, I feel that where the other two dispensers falter the RCBS ChargeMaster shines–speed and ease of use. The Lyman has some serious flaws, in my mind–excessive warm-up time, unstable zero (Lyman recommends you “check zero” frequently to avoid drift issues), and a powder chamber that is very hard to clean. The PACT is a decent unit, but you have to re-calibrate whenever you change powders. A couple of things I would like to see added to all these units would be a graduated hopper and a stand to get the unit up high enough to easily dump the powder.
I am now a confirmed believer in digitally controlled automatic powder dispensing. Using the RCBS Chargemaster, I cut my reloading time by 60% (full analysis below). That means I can generate the same amount of ammo in less than half the time! My shooting tests, performed with both my 6.5-284 and my .308, show that rounds produced with the RCBS unit are just as accurate as those produced manually with a balance-beam scale. With the ChargeMaster, then, you save lots of time with no negative effects on accuracy.”
Lean Manufacturing Principles as Applied to Reloading I would like to share some methods used in the world of manufacturing and explain how they can be used with a digital powder dispenser to cut your reloading time by 60%. These methods are “Lean Manufacturing” and “Single Piece Flow”.

By working on other loading tasks while the ChargeMaster throws charges, I can produce more than twice as much finished ammo in a given time period. The machine more than doubles my productivity. Single Piece Flow is a methodology used in Lean Manufacturing to speed up a process. Where multiple operations are used to built a part, the object is to do this process in the most efficient and productive way, thus improving profit margin. We can apply Single Piece Flow to loading with digital powder dispensers. End result–more ammo in less time.
The old-fashioned production method was referred to as “Batch and Queue”. Unfortunately, Batch and Queue can waste a lot of time. To demonstrate, let’s say we are going to process 100 rounds, each requiring four operations:
Op 1 – Weigh powder
Op 2 – Place powder in the case
Op 3 – Insert bullet
Op 4 – Place finished round into case
Calculating the process time per operation for one loaded round, we get:
Op 1 – Weigh powder = 30 Seconds
Op 2 – Place powder in the case = 3 Seconds
Op 3 – Insert bullet = 15 Seconds
Op 4 – Place finished round into case = 3 Seconds
Total process time = 51 seconds per round.
For 100 rounds, that’s 5100 seconds, which works out to 1.416 hours or 85 minutes.
Now we can see that our longest Batch and Queue sub-operation (Op1), is 30 seconds for weighing a powder charge. If we can improve that time we’re putting money in the bank. Reducing Op 1 time is where the ChargeMaster excels. Our tests showed the RCBS ChargeMaster dispensed 50.5 grains of H4831sc in 8-11 seconds–let’s just call it 10 seconds. Then we add 3 seconds to put the powder in the case, 15 seconds to seat the bullet, and 3 seconds to place the finished round in the case. That give us a total of 31 seconds. So, just by using the dispenser (vs. a manual powder measure), we’ve reduced load time by 20 seconds (from 51 to 31 seconds per round).
But we’re not finished yet. If we can simultaneously put powder in a case and seat a bullet, WHILE the powder (for the next round) is being machine-dispensed we can save even MORE time. In other words the human keeps working as the machine is cranking. Doing that, we can knock assembly time all the way down to 21 seconds per round. (How’d he do that, you might ask–well the machine is doing the weighing job while the human is doing something else at the same time, so it’s like having two guys on the job).
What, then, is the net benefit of using the ChargeMaster? Well, you may be surprised–we can basically produce equal-quality ammo in less than half the time. Here’s how that works:
100 Rounds Manually Weighed: 51 seconds x 100 = 5100 seconds = 85 minutes
100 Rounds ChargeMaster Weighed: 21 seconds x 100 = 2100 seconds = 35 minutes
That’s a 50-minute savings per 100 rounds of 6.5-284. I’ve reduced my overall reloading time by roughly 60% (58.8% to be precise). Or look at it this way–I can produce the same amount of finished ammo in less than half the time! To me that’s compelling. And the more you load, the more time you’ll save.

Last edited by sakoluvr; 03-16-2011 at 03:35 PM.
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Unread 03-16-2011, 03:50 PM
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Re: Electric Powder Measure - thoughs

That's all great and I wouldn't argue with that artlcle one bit. However, he is really stressing it for speed if you are doing a lot of reloading. If you will notice, he did not make any negative comments about slower reloading with an accurate beam scale, but rather it was strictly a comparison of the automatic digital systems on the market. He seems to have come up with all the comments that I have read piecemeal by many reloaders when discussing those units on several different websites, so that was a good, informative article.
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Unread 03-16-2011, 04:07 PM
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Re: Electric Powder Measure - thoughs

Geeze, lots of controversy! Think i will go with the RCBS sounds like the one to buy. I mostly use a redding powder measure and its normally less than .2 grns off (usually +/- .1) so not sure I am going to pick up to terribly much. I will probably lose speed over it but pick up speed over hand weighing.

Thanks for all the replies.
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Unread 03-17-2011, 08:47 PM
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Re: Electric Powder Measure - thoughs

There is some fundamental terminology missing from most discussions over beam vs. electronic.

Beam scales are:
Mildly Accurate (to the scales capability of about 0.1gn)
Precise (they achieve 0.1gn consistently)
Higher error (+/- 0.1gn)

Electronic scales are:
Highly accurate (this is where electronic scales beat the pants off of beams)
Precise (they can achieve single kernel accuracy consistently most of the time)
Reliable (maybe, but NEVER to the degree of beam scales)
Lower error (+/- 0.02gn?)

Anybody arguing scales should have a solid understanding of accuracy, precision/repeatability and error. Beam scales can NEVER EVER EVER offer the accuracy that electronics can. Electronics can offer single kernel accuracy (and even better if desired). We use electronics to weigh atoms, not beam scales. But with electronics come instability, cost, environment user error etc. Electronics can increase production as stated above, especially if (i.e. the chargemaster is reprogrammed to throw faster charges).

To my knowledge, acculab/sartorius scales are european, and not cheap chinese crap. I readily acknowledge that RCBS chargemaster feels like it was outsouced to china by the lowest bidder for RCBS. I own one. It has some inherent reliability issues as well. Comparing a beam to the RCBS is a fair fight. Comparing a beam to a high dollar research scale is not even close to a fair fight.

Boomtube, like others long in the tooth () tend to prefer repeatability and reliability. Hard to argue against that logic in this game! His opinion has been arrived at with much knowledge/experience. I dare you to test him!

Give me a fine piece of german electrical engineering ANYDAY but I'll pay a price...Is it worth it? To me yes, but my gun still outshoots me and my prey (sometimes) eludes me.
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Unread 03-17-2011, 09:03 PM
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Re: Electric Powder Measure - thoughs

Originally Posted by Topgun 30-06 View Post
I'm sticking with my good old OHaus beam scale. It will still be working with no basic money outlays when these old bones are long gone!
Topgun: FYI - I have a son that just set up his reloading equipment and wanted an old Ohaus like he was used to using at home. Took me 6 months to find one (ebay) and you don't want to know what I had to pay for it - or maybe you do - 4 times the amount of what they were sold for originally new.

So - if your old bones ever wants to get rid of yours - well let's just say you're not going to loose any money on it and it'd be gone in a matter of hours - not days.
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